Spring is here!
There’s something just magical about this time of year. After winter’s hibernation, we start to see (and feel) the sun again. We see flowers blooming everywhere (like these tulips above, that I saw in the shadows of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. We start to see people outside. People look better. People feel better. People are ready to get back out into the world again.
In addition to shedding our winter coats, spring is a great time to shed the gunk that accumulated in our body over the winter. After being inside and being more sedentary, maybe not exercising as much, and maybe eating a lot of so-called winter “comfort” (read: rich, dense and maybe even a little fattening) foods, we may have a little extra fluff around the middle and may want to shed a few extra pounds too.
There are lots of cleanses out there – fasts, juice cleanses, whole food cleanses, the options are limitless. One thing that most cleanses have in common is that they clean your liver. The liver is the organ that flushes toxins from our body – sometimes it accumulates toxic build-up in the course of doing its job, and in the case of fertility, it sometimes accumulates excess hormones (like estrogen) too, and some of the toxins that can build in our bodies may suppress ovulation or affect your egg quality. So getting rid of all that is certainly beneficial, for our fertility and our overall health.
Cleansing your liver has enormous benefits, from jump-starting weight loss, to supporting your immune system, to boosting your energy and increasing vitality. The overall goal of a cleanse is to lighten the load on your body so that your liver can produce more bile and strengthen its natural detoxifications system to remove toxins on an ongoing basis.
In the case of fertility, it’s a great idea to cleanse before trying to conceive, to reboot your hormones, bring circulation to the reproductive system and prepare your body for conception. It sets a great foundation for your reproductive health for the fertility journey.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t cleanse if you’re already TTC – it’s never a bad time to reboot, set a new intention, clean yourself out and renew, so you haven’t missed the boat. In short, it’s never a bad idea to cleanse.
I did my first cleanse in January 2012, which is also the month before I started actively trying to conceive. I try now to cleanse every season. I’ve noticed many benefits of cleansing, from improved sleep, to feeling lighter and more energetic, to losing a little weight (I usually lose between 4-5 pounds). The last time I cleansed, I noticed while at a coffee shop with a friend that I was so much more engaged and present in my interaction with her. It was fascinating! So cleansing really helps us to create space in our bodies and our minds to be more present in our lives, which is so important for the fertility journey.
If you want to do a cleanse this spring, here are a few basics:
- Cleanse for anywhere from 3 to 10 days. Any more than that and you could be depriving your reproductive system of necessary nutrients to keep it working in top form (even though the foods you eat during a cleanse are healthy, you need to add these nutrients back into your diet).
- Avoid sugar, meat, caffeine, alcohol and gluten during a cleanse. Yes, even meat. Meat is healthy and gives you good building block nutrients when trying to conceive, but we all need a break from it every now and again.
- Eat lots of whole foods, grains, fruits and vegetables during your cleanse.
- Drink TONS of water with lemon. Like, TONS of water. It’s recommended that we get half of our body weight in ounces each day to flush our system.
- Be gentle with yourself during the cleanse. This is new for your body and it might be difficult in the beginning. Plan on gentle movement, get plenty of rest, and tune in to yourself through journaling or meditation during the cleanse.
Cleansing is a great way to shed those extra pounds, get your body ready for summer, and give your body a good cleaning out too. It’s like hitting a reset button on your body. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, so why not rebirth and renew yourself?
Do you cleanse regularly? How does it make you feel? Does the idea of cleansing scare you? Let me know in the comments!